Star Team India all-rounder Hardik Pandya has been ruled out of the two-match Test series against New Zealand starting from February 21. Notably, he missed the limited-overs series as well as he continues to recover from the back injury.
Pandya has been struggling with the injury since the 2018 Asia Cup when he had to stretchered off the field during India's game against Pakistan. Hardik Pandya underwent back surgery in October and hoped to recover in time for the two-Test series in New Zealand. However, his rehabilitation has taken longer than expected, and the all-rounder has not been cleared to make a comeback in February.
Meanwhile, the selectors initially drafted Hardik Pandya in India A's squad for the tour of New Zealand. However, the management withdrew his name as a safety measure with important series lined up. The Baroda cricketer himself hoped to return midway in the ongoing tour, but Pandya has not responded well to the rehabilitation.
"Hardik Pandya has been ruled out of the upcoming Test series against New Zealand. He will be under rehab at the National Cricket Academy until he regains full match fitness," BCCI said in a release on Saturday, 1 February.
Meanwhile, India have secured the T20I series winning the first four T20Is of the series. They will hope to inflict a whitewash when Virat Kohli & Co will lock horns with New Zealand on February 2. The T20I series will be followed by three ODIs and two Test matches.